Saskatchewan Roughriders Plaza of Honour member Dan Rashovich is nearly 18 years removed from his final CFL game but, in one respect, his objective is still the same.
“We want to beat Calgary,” he says with a smile. “Nothing has changed.”
“We,” in this case, pertains to everyone involved with Regina’s inaugural “Believe In The Gold” Run For Childhood Cancer, which is to be held Saturday — one week after Calgary’s fifth annual “Believe In The Gold” event.
Rashovich, who is chairing the upcoming Run For Childhood Cancer, expresses his hope that the Regina event will be more successful than the one in Calgary.
“It’s a friendly competition,” the 16-year CFL veteran says. “We just like to win.”
The ultimate victory would be to conquer childhood cancer.
“Believe in the Gold” is a charitable foundation that is dedicated to enhancing research about awareness of childhood cancer and raising money to support families that have travel, accommodation or out-of-pocket expenses that are not covered by provincial health-care or extended-benefit plans.
This year’s “Run For Childhood Cancer” is the first to be held in Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan Roughriders Alumni Association will be heavily involved as the community sponsor.
“I see it as the beginning of something great,” says Rashovich, who was a linebacker and special-teams ace with the Roughriders from 1987 to 1999. “My vision is for every alumni association across the league to take this on.
“The cause is children’s cancer. How do you say no?”
The cause hits close to home for Rashovich. His 21-year-old son, Nolan, was diagnosed last year with leukemia and, his father is happy to report, “doing well.”
Nine months after Nolan’s diagnosis, Rashovich was contacted and asked to chair the event while encouraging the participation of Roughriders alumni. He expects “30 or 40” ex-Roughriders to be on hand to walk with the kids on Saturday.
The event is to begin at 9:30 a.m. The itinerary includes breakfast and lunch, children’s activities, and walk/run distances of two, five and 10 kilometres. The starting point is the Queen Elizabeth II Gardens, near the Legislative Building.
The Roughrider Pep Band and Gainer The Gopher will also make appearances, along with musical guests, superheroes and Disney princesses.
The Children’s Fun Zone will include face-painting, football throwing (in conjunction with Regina Minor Football) and gold, helium-filled balloons. There will be candy stations on the 2km walk.
Forty-five per cent of the proceeds will remain in Saskatchewan to assist families. Another 45 per cent will go toward research that targets children’s cancer. The other 10 per cent will be used to heighten awareness of childhood cancer.